Nationally Accomplished Educator to Lead Program
Cary, currently Director of the Loyola University New Orleans School of Nursing, succeeds retiring Lora Lacey-Haun, who served as dean of the UMKC school since 2004 and was UMKC faculty for 32 years. Cary brings national recognition for online graduate nursing degree programs and healthcare education leadership in Louisiana. Her first day will be Aug. 1.
“The UMKC School of Nursing and Health Studies is poised to be a leader in the country in terms of its innovative programming and its commitment to interprofessional education,” Cary said. “I’m looking forward to working with the faculty, staff and deans of the health sciences schools to take the school to the next level.”
Earlier this year, the School of Nursing and Health Studies expanded its name because it is offering more degree programs beyond nursing as well as professional and educational collaborations.
“We are pleased to welcome Dr. Cary to UMKC,” said Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost Gail Hackett. “Her experience and leadership in nursing and healthcare education will help guide the School of Nursing and Health Studies into the future as it continues to evolve and expand to meet the demand for health professionals.”
Russell Melchert, Dean of the UMKC School of Pharmacy, led the national search committee for the School of Nursing and Health Studies Dean position.
“We were impressed by Dr. Cary’s extensive accomplishments at Loyola University New Orleans, which made an impact on healthcare education in the entire state of Louisiana,” Melchert said. “She also led efforts in creating interprofessional educational opportunities for students and faculty. Interprofessional education is one of the top priorities at UMKC, especially at the Hospital Hill schools.”
The Hospital Hill schools include the Schools of Dentistry, Medicine and Pharmacy in addition to the School of Nursing and Health Studies. Interprofessional education involves faculty from two or more health disciplines providing learning opportunities for students from those disciplines with the mission of cultivating collaborative practice to provide patient-centered care.
Cary’s new position as Dean of the UMKC School of Nursing and Health Studies is a vital one in the community, said Melissa Robinson, president and chief executive officer of the Black Health Care Coalition in Kansas City.
“UMKC School of Nursing and Health Studies graduates work in nearly every clinic and hospital throughout the Kansas City area,” Robinson said. “One of the school’s missions is for more diversity in the nursing workforce and delivering healthcare to the underserved in rural and urban areas. That mission is successful, thanks to the leadership of Dr. Lacey-Haun and UMKC. I look forward to working with Dr. Cary on more successes for Kansas City and beyond.”
Cary received her BSN from Louisiana State University in New Orleans, MPH from Tulane School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine and PhD from The Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C. Her honors include the Phi Kappa Phi Distinguished Service Award in 2006, a Robert Wood Johnson Executive Nurse Fellow from 2008-2011 and election to the American Association of Colleges of Nursing Board of Directors 2012-2014.
Under Cary’s leadership, Loyola University New Orleans placed in the Top 6 of the nation’s best online graduate nursing programs by U.S. News & World Report in 2012 and 2013. Cary also led the faculty to initiate the first Doctor of Nursing Practice program in Louisiana.
Prior to working at Loyola, Cary directed online programs for the School of Public Health and Health Science and the School of Nursing at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst.